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Username: wishbass

Post Number: 62
Registered: 5-2011
Posted on Monday, September 19, 2011 - 6:22 pm:   Edit Post

In the end ,it's a matter of personal choice,however, I wondered about the general feeling of club members about "clean up" of our older or used instruments.My Elan is 21 years old, and has the usual traits ,minor surface scratchs(rendered nearly invisible w/carnuba wax),and a patena(?) on the bridge. I have seen some threads about polishing the brass parts but have not tried it.I am aware that in a lot of circles this kind of cleanup on an older instruments is clean and buff, or just leave it alone? Opinions wanted. Thanks , Karl
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 1702
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 1:22 am:   Edit Post

well personally I like my Alembic to look shiny at a gig and dirt encourages corrosion on metal and deterioration of exposed woods ie fingerboard.
Polishing the brass may require removing any laquer that it may have been coated with to prevent dulling, I usually remove the bridge from the sustain block then unscrew the pillar screw ferrules so I can polish the side rails thouroughly as well as the block and tail piece, I also polish the nut as well and the logo(I sound like OCD here!)
The fretboard gets a soaking of lemon oil and the body get a coating of non silicone wax polish and buffed up( I have ran out of Alembic polish)
A lot of work but the bass does come up a treat especially when photographed at gigs
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1077
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post

"Original" carries value in collector circles, but there are levels of original. Look at, for the classic example, Fenders from the '50s & '60s. It's true that if you restore a trashed '59 Strat, you lower its value, but compare the price of the trashed original to one that's in great shape; better is always better. And, as Terry points out, the grunge damages the instrument; a Hondo deserves to be kept up, let alone an Alembic. I vote for maintenance.

Senior Member
Username: hydrargyrum

Post Number: 1058
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 7:56 am:   Edit Post

Unless the instrument is an extremely early example (like Keavin's #12, or Bill's #10), I doubt that a clean up makes much difference one way or the other. A factory refinish would probably help the value of a badly treated instrument. A brass polishing on an otherwise well kept instrument probably wouldn't make any difference in value at all to a savvy buyer. I'm guessing you'd have to have a pretty spectacular patina to improve value.

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